I try to work around it’s hold. I will myself through life. Trying so hard to simply keep it together. To be where I say I will, to arrive on time, to appear somewhat put together. Sometimes I deny the presence of the pain, until its grip squeezes so hard I am no longer able to dismiss it. It is as though a demon lives just under my skin and when it all gets too much it start to shrink, compressing every part of me until I can't breath. Until the inward pressure on my rib cage and chest make it impossible to catch my breath. The downward force feeling like I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. It squeezes so hard my muscles feel lifeless, as though they have no connection to energy, leaving me just barely able move. The compression presses so hard on my heart it aches, throbbing, as if any beat could be its last. My head feels so heavy, my little neck cannot support it anymore, so I shift and squirm trying to find peace in my own body, trying to work it out.
To no avail; the pain is relentless. This energy stuck in me like a wild animal, caged and thrashing around violently. As if I were possessed; there is no physical injury but my body at the mercy of an injury so severe it leaves me unable to function.
And then, when I have fought all I can fight there comes an exhaustion. An exhaustion from the core of my being that radiates out. It kills the spark of life from deep within. There is nothing left. There is a depletion so profound and yet the building blocks that sustain the physical life are all there. However, that doesn't seem to matter. This demon overrides it all, strangling my will to live.
It short-circuits my power. Not only cutting off the connection to any authentic energy or motivation, it sends shocks of pain through the body, and like a movie on repeat it sets up the horror of his death playing in the back of my mind over and over. There when I'm awake but amps up the intensity when I close my eyes; O the nightmares.
At this point there is no amount of will that can make it OK. There is no positive sayings, or cheer-leading that can get me through. There is a complete surrender to the lifelessness of this once vibrant being. Sometimes the relief comes after a few hours, sometimes a day or two, but sometimes longer.
The power of its grip insurmountable. When it attacks it is only a matter of time till it takes me out, and how long I will be in its grip; unknown. Eventually the strangling hold lets up, I then pick my barely breathing body up and start again. Again and again and again.
As I was walking out of a restaurant he reached for my hand and stopped me. He was a friend of a friend, I hardly knew. He looked right in my eyes and said, ‘I know you are going through hell, I have lived a version of it. Now you have demons, but never forget you also have an angel’.
In honour of my angel, I face another day.